The oldest district heating system was created in the early fourteenth century in Chaudes-Aigues Cantal - a village in France. This system distributed warm water through wooden pipes and it is still in use today.
The first commercial district heating system was created by Birdsill Holly in Lockport, New York in 1877. Holly used the boiler as the central heat source and built a loop consisting of steam pipes, radiators, and even condensate return lines. His system started off with fourteen customers. Only 3 years later, it served several factories as well as residential customers and had extended to a 3-mile loop.
District cooling also has its roots in the nineteenth century. It was introduced as a scheme to distribute clean, cool air to houses through underground pipes. The first known district cooling system began operations at Denver's Colorado Automatic Refrigerator Company in late 1889. In the 1930's, large district cooling systems were created for Rockefeller Centre in New York City and for the U.S. Capital Buildings in Washington, D.C..<< Back